MCW provides emergency medicine training to Belize’s busiest ER

Aug. 14, 2014

A team of doctors, nurses, and EMT personnel from the nation of Belize has completed two weeks of intensive training with emergency medicine specialists in Milwaukee to strengthen the capabilities and response development of Belize’s busiest emergency department.

Led by the Medical College of Wisconsin’s (MCW) department of emergency medicine, with the support of MCW’s office of global health, this is the fourth year of formal training for the team from the Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital (KHMH) in Belize. The emergency department at KHMH sees 30,000 patients annually, is the only hospital in the nation with a mass casualty plan, and serves as its only trauma center.

While in Wisconsin, trainees worked with teams from the MCW Standardized Teaching Assessment Resource Center, Froedtert & the Medical College of Wisconsin’s emergency department, Milwaukee County Emergency Medical Services, and colleagues from Wheaton Franciscan – Elmbrook Memorial and St. Joseph Campuses.

The agreement with KHMH and the Belize Ministry of Health also includes onsite training in Belize each year; a team from MCW, along with training partners, conducts three annual two-week training sessions at the hospital.

“Karl Heusner Memorial Hospital serves a unique role as the only tertiary care provider in the nation of Belize. The hospital’s leadership recognizes the importance of strengthening its emergency care team through team training and bringing value to their patients,” said Stephen Hargarten, M.D., M.P.H., professor and chair of emergency medicine at MCW, and associate dean of global health. “This partnership is also beneficial for emergency care practitioners in the greater Milwaukee area. We are learning from each other many ways to strengthen emergency care and to find the best ways to address disaster preparedness and emergency care in a multitude of settings.”

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